REPORTS TO: MANAGING ATTORNEY OF PRO BONO PROJECTS
Salary Range:$36,000 to $38,000
The Senior Paralegal works directly with attorneys and recruits, trains, schedules and oversees staff paralegals, volunteer paralegals and administrative volunteers to assist CGLA’s legal teams in providing high quality legal services to CGLA clients and the communities CGLA serves. The Senior Paralegal researches court records, drafts pleadings, prepares client correspondence, communicates with clients and the public, manages documents and files, and enters forms data into Legal Server, CGLA’s case management system. Reporting to the Managing Attorney of Pro Bono Projects, this position also works on special projects and coordinates the work of volunteer pre-law students, law students, paralegal interns, and other administrative volunteers as required to fulfill the needs of the organization.
Work with supervisors and members of the legal teams to identify and prioritize their administrative needs;
Recruit, train, schedule and supervise a team comprised of paralegal staff and administrative and paralegal volunteers in performing various duties to fulfill the administrative needs of the legal teams;
Maintain documentation of all administrative and paralegal functions for use in training new staff and volunteers;
Assist attorneys in responding to client referrals from community partners, including criminal records research, screening referred clients to determine eligibility for relief, conducting intakes, scheduling appointments, and following up with clients;
Assist with case management, including drafting legal pleadings, preparing client correspondence, maintaining files and providing assistance at court hearings;
Conduct eligibility screening and substantive interviews for applicants with legal issues by telephone and in person, including at offsite locations;
Communicate with CGLA partner agencies regarding collaborative services and client referrals;
Assist in organizing and administering pro bono legal clinics.
Manage Files and Cases
Maintain and organize accurate and complete client files and administrative records, ensuring timely data entry into CGLA’s case management database for data tracking and reporting;
Obtain documents from courts and law enforcement agencies, and perform other fact-gathering activities;
Create and run reports in Legal Server to ensure the quality of data entry functions and provide case data to program supervisors relevant to their programs.
Conduct annual performance appraisals and quarterly check-ins with direct reports and assigned fellows.
Ensure timely, consistent, and detailed performance feedback is provided to each direct report. Ensure direct reports are performing at a satisfactory level.
Provide resources and support to address staff’s needs, identify and secure professional development opportunities for staff, provide coaching and supervision, and manage and resolve conflict.
Address performance issues with staff and interns using appropriate disciplinary methods such as verbal warnings, write-ups, and performance improvement plans.
Provide training and supervision to in-house staff, fellows, interns, and volunteers to assure quality legal representation.
Create, maintain and update Excel spreadsheets and documents utilizing Mail Merge and similar software applications to generate petitions, pleadings and other court documents;
Prepare outreach materials and participate in outreach events at community-based organizations;
Upon request, provide front desk coverage, including answering the telephone, greeting visitors, providing information and making appropriate referrals to other legal aid and social services organizations.
Associate Degree in Paralegal Studies or Paralegal Certificate is required; Bachelor’s Degree in Paralegal Studies is preferred.
At least 4 years work experience as paralegal, legal assistant, office manager or similar work experience;
Minimum of 2 years managerial or supervisory experience.
Experience working with legal case management software and legal research tools such as Lexis and Westlaw
High proficiency in Microsoft Office products, particularly Word and Excel;
Excellent oral and written communication skills;
Strong research and writing skills;
Ability to multitask and work in a busy, fast-paced practice;
Ability to understand and follow oral and written directions;
Experience and ability to work with a diverse client population, including low-income clients;
Ability to work independently as well as part of a dynamic team;
The ability to work collaboratively with staff, interns and volunteers;
Ability to prioritize work, meet deadlines and produce quality results;
Exemplary organizational skills and keen attention to detail.
Supervise 1 Staff Paralegal and Volunteer Paralegals
Monday through Friday, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, 40 hours per week
Occasional non-traditional hours on weekends and evenings
Sit for long periods of time
Speak clearly so listeners can understand.
Understand the speech of another person.
Must be able to handle high levels of mental stress
The employee is regularly required to sit, walk, talk, read, see and hear. The employee is frequently required to use hands and fingers to type, handle, or feel and reach. The employee is regularly required to stand and walk. The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 25 pounds.
Travel to all Municipal District Courthouses, Cook County Criminal Courthouse (26th and California), and occasionally to Suburban courthouses, is required. Travel to law firms within Chicago is also required.
Work is performed in a typical office environment. Must be able to work in an open office setting with moderate noise levels.
We offer a generous benefits plan that includes health, vision, dental and life insurance, dependent care and flexible spending account, and 403(b) retirement account. In addition, CGLA offers generous paid time off, Floating Holidays and 14 paid holidays per year. During the summer months we celebrate Summer Fridays by closing the office early.